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Lia Fail - Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

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Lia FailLia Fail

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very good

122 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 122
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 122 | Reviews: 86
Photo of MAB
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding effort from this brewery!

Color is beautiful, deep amber and clear.
The head is fairly tight and yellow-brown in color. Dies down to a nice froth that remains for the whole pint.
Smell is sweet, some smoke, and hops. Lovely.

The back of the label reads (in part): "Challenger, Fuggles, and Cascade hops produce a spicy aroma with a balanced bitterness and full bodied flavour".

I couldn't describe it more perfectly than they've done it themselves.

Also noted: They use "full leaf hops".

I picked up aged wood notes, almost like scotch.

Mouthfeel was pleasing- not watery but not heavy.

Superb beer.

Photo of CHADMC3
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fair brown with hints of orange, a frothy cream-colored head appears with nice tight carbonation bubbles and a nice lacing to follow.

Aroma consists of sweet caramel or molasses and slight hints of hops.

Smokey flavor with a roasty caramel again and hints of hops on the back of the palate.

Well balanced with medium carbonation.

This beer improves as you progress through, still a bit light on flavor for my tastes.

Photo of trevorwideman
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle bought at the LC and poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, clear orange-red colour with a massive rocky head that retains really well. Webs of lace coat the glass all the way to the bottom. Carbonation is mild. Aroma is very floral and honey-sweet with a bit of clover and heather. Lightly herbal. Strong crackery malt backbone holding it together. Sweet, but surprisingly balanced and hoppy.

Taste is a bit more watery than I'd like, but there's a great crackery malt backbone balanced very well by a lightly herbal hop bitterness. Light clover honey sweetness. Old school flavours here, it's not hard to imagine the highlands while drinking this. Clean and simple, medium body, and it dries nicely in the finish. Mild carbonation. I could session this no problem, it's really tasty and slides down really easily.

Photo of thesultan
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful, dark brown colour. Almost the same colour as the bottle it came out of. Thin, creamy brown head that quickly went away.

S - To begin with a wee bit of chocolate but as it warmed up starting giving caramel and some honey.

T - Quite sweet, with lots of chocolate and vanilla. Nicely balanced by robust hop taste.

M - Felt it was too heavy on the carbonation. still not bad though. Probably better on cask if I can find it somewhere.

D - No problems putting a few of these away.

Photo of findlayfan
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 500 ML into Imperial pint: dark amber body with modest off-white head that was gone quickly.

Caramel/malt nose with a hint of hops. Nothing really stood out but very pleasant overall.

Good carbonation and moderate mouthfeel. As with the smell, nothing stood out in the taste: a nice, middle-of-the-road combination of malt and hops.

Decent lacing left on the glass - more than I expected from the minimal head.

Not as complex as some Scottish ales I've had, but it's certainly not bland, either. A good session beer - wish I had more than the one.

Photo of Graham5161986
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a beautiful copper colour with a one finger fizzy head that quickly reduces to a thin film. Upon close inspection, you can actually see tiny particles floating around. Leaves a nice sticky lace.

S: aromas of caramel malts and bitter hops dominate. I also get hints of chocolate and vanilla.

T: quite heavily hopped, with a sweet bready, nutty flavour and a dry finish.

M: heavy and very creamy, tingly carbonation and a very smooth satisfying finish.

D: This is an excellent brew! Beautiful flavours,well crafted and is highly drinkable given its relatively low ABV. I could definitely see myself drinking more than one of these in a night. I look forward to my next one! A great find.

Photo of JamesS
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Has a wonderful copper color, if just a little on the light side. Not much of a head, but wonderful lacing all around. Has a great malty/peaty scent that fills the nose without overpowering. Great warm scotch ale flavor, a nice and deep maltiness with a bit of smoky peat. Does have a slight hint of chocolate, though not as much as promised. Goes down exceedingly well! It will not be a problem at all to finish the 1+ liter bottle.

Photo of Gusler
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer dispense from the 500ml bottle an almost opaque brown with tinges of ruby at the edges, head admirable, creamy and light tan in color, stays for a while, then leaves the lace to conceal the glass. Nose has a deep rich malt sweet aroma, caramel, toffee and a bit of peat, maybe a twig of heather, quite nice, clean and crisp to the senses. Start has a sweet malt presence, touch of spiciness at the back, light to moderate in feel. Finish has a pleasant acidity, the hops understated, but adequate, sweet toffee to the dry end, quite a good drinking beer, seems I find less and less Scottish ales.

Photo of BDTyre
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a hazy muddy copper colour with a standard, slightly off-white head.

Sweet-sour malt smell with a hint of smokiness and a very light hint of peat. Caramel in the background.

Smokey dry malt taste. Coffee-caramel flavours, light hop tastes. Note as thick or overpowering as some of the Scottish ales I've had...and certainly not as underpowered either.

A tad thin at times on the mouth, but a nice thick finish. A good session Scottish.

Photo of jbsteiny
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A really interesting color, this one. Like a muddy brown ale -- hazy dark copper -- with a decent head and lacing the color of extra-light coffee. Strong carbonation. Smells strongly of malts, with a bit of smoke & earth -- quite Scottish.

Didn't really do it for me, though. I found it a bit metallic and medicinal with a thin mouthfeel for the style. Certainly easy to drink, though, with interesting flavor characteristics that you don't find in most American ales. I'd get it again if looking for something different, but I prefer most other Scottish ales / wee heavies I've tried.

Photo of Sigmund
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, bought at Peckham’s, Glasgow. Deep amber to copper coloured beer, decent off-white head. Lovely fruity aroma, also notes of malts and caramel, hints of spices. The flavour is fairly fruity and moderately malty, with distinct hops throughout, also notes of toffee. Well balanced. A very nice bitter!

Photo of bruachan
3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i gave this guy an aggressive pour, as i anticipated a head might be hard to coax out of the bottle. sure enough it was big...and then it wasn't. some lacing to prove it. the color is a mostly red amber

the aroma is super chocolatey in a smoky way. like the dry stuff that flakes off of bars of dark chocolate. actually, beyond that there's not a whole lot more

that bitter chocolate follows the nose into the taste of the beer itself. not at the start, but in the finish of each mouthful (well, not the very end...buut close). there's some big hop character at the end, as well. all in all a very different scottish ale. it's thin and doesn't sport the typical sweetness and chewiness. in fact, it's really not sweet

Photo of kmacphail
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A lovely looking brown beer poured with a good white head that displayed good retention throughout the duration of the pint.

The nose was a pleasant mix of both hops and malts with a slightly bitter after scent of citrus fruit. These followed through to the taste to produce a very pleasant beer. But with a bit more emphasis on peatiness this time around. Reminded me of a better version of 1488.

A nice medium-thick mouthfeel, not too heavy, make this a very drinkable beer. At 4.7% it is a realistic session ale, it did not have some of the unpleasant after effects that some real ales give.

Highly recommended.

Photo of albern
3.29/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours a cloudy brackish brown with little head and only slight lacing. The smell is the best part of this beer. You get a nice blend of bready malt, some hops, and some sweet fruit aromas (maybe raisin or currents or figs). The consistency is watery and pretty thin and light bodied. I would have preferred something heavier. The taste is nice, but again, too watery. The sweetish malts are pronounced and then it dissipates. You get a bit of a burnt flavor. There is very little carbonation in this beer. There is a smallish bite in the aftertaste where the hoppiness comes out. It is the dissipation in the mid to end of the taste that is the most troubling and which compromises this beer. The mouthfeel is very light. There just isn't enough here to sink into. Not a bad beer though.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. It was a cloudy brown with a thin head that had an oily sheen to it. Nice aroma: toffee, butterscotch, dark fruit. However, something happened between the aroma and the taste. Initially sweet, then nothing was there, then some sharp hops showed up. Not a very pleasing taste. Doubt that I'll try this particular Scottish Ale again.

Photo of BuckSpin
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 500ml bottle in a stemmed thistle glass

Poured smooth like a country stream. Nose has some interesting sweet qualities: toffee, butterscotch, thick malts, dried fruit like raisin, prune, fig. It just continues to grow with some light milk chocolates, a creamy, subtle blond coffee flair, maybe some very faint wood. As it warms & blooms the oak quality rises, as do the peaty malts and even some distant smoke...very nice.

Head is root beer float style, thick, sculpted, sticky and viney to the glass sides, a good 2 fingers of dull latte foam that lasted long, fading only to a pinky's worth of the same while lacing with thick curtains. Body is a beautifully clear, sharp cherry amber, warm & somewhat brassy, inviting. All & all a treat for the various pre-taste senses!

Very nice, a little creamy, smooth with not a silky but a a crushed velvet burr to it on the tongue in the form of bittersweet malts, caramelized, a wee bit burnt. Stone fruits like dark cherry and black currant, dries fruits such as raisin & fig, all there but soft. There is a brashness to it, a bit unrefined, slightly earthy & dirty, even a echo of dark chocolate, but thats not necessarily a bad thing.

It gets more bitter with hops on the palate, and then (sadly) fades away with a chalky, coating, almost burnt, slatelike aftertaste...bummer.

This was great in all aspects until it got to the mid-taste on the palate, then it fell off sharply. What a shame. Still, it was good, and I'll give it a 4 on Taste, but just barely. Its certainly better than a 3.5. I can't say that I would keep a ready supply on hand, but I would drink it again on occasion. Might be helped by a good cheese to fill in the dead spot. I'd recommend it, but there are other examples of the style that are better. If you like a bit of a crudeness to your ales, then definitely give it a shot.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown brew with some reddish highlights. Really attractive beer actually, reminds me of a strong bitter. Good head, about one finger, lacing quite sticky. I get some dark fruit and caramel aromas, not a lot of power.

The flavor brings some spicing hops that get drowned in alcohol-soaked raisin. There's actually a little floral bit too, as it warms. There's a little grain flavor and some toasted malt.

Maybe a little thin, not much carbonation at all. It's very smooth, and the head stays around long enough to be mostly creamy. On the light side in alcohol and body. This is a sessionable Scottish ale.

Photo of Atron67
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gives a good dark-amber hue with a nice head, Nice smell with woody essence but notes of malt and hops nicely balanced for style. good smooth sweet taste also fitting of style, however it would be nice if it had a much more full body. The tastes are good however not as prominant as personally desired.

Photo of beckje01
3.17/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber with 1/2 an inch of head

S- Malts with a touch of alcohol, and some slight woody smells wich are very nice.

T- Malts with a rich smoke flavor, very good for the style

M- Smoth with a bit of water feel to it not quite as full as I would like

D- Pretty easy going down, kind of light over all drinkable beer.

Photo of Dukeofearl
2.65/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I find I really like or really don't care for Scottish beers (or, to be fair, the Scottish beers available to me in Southern California). This "Stone of Destiny" beer did not do it for me.

$4.59 for a 0.5 liter bottle at La Bodega in Riverside, CA, July 2006.

Pours a clear amber, with an odd, off-grey head (a color I never thought I would use when describing beer). A ton of dark yeast chunkies fell into the glass almost from the beginning of the pour. I don't mind yeast floaties or chunkies at all, but this was a touch overwhelming.

Aroma is a rich dark deep malt, quite roasty. Flavor is of strong hops, very sharp, with a pronounced yeast quality (what a surprise). A bitterness reminiscent of overboiled coffee finished it for me- not recommended.

Photo of DogFood11
2.67/5  rDev -29%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Head took some extreme effort to form up and then fades to ring like covering w/ scattered lace left behind. Brown color looks deep and rich, little carbonation.

A simple, straight forward brew. Light on the palate w/ little carbonation and finishing a bit watered. Malts are subtle but still enough to be the dominant theme. Toasted middle and a bit of a hop splash towards the end only to finish watery and lingering grain.

Notes: Session would be out for me as it is not very refreshing.

Photo of wl0307
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First time to try the bottled version, and I'm so surprised to see a huge difference with the cask-conditioned one tasted last winter~~
BB APR 2007, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: light russet hue, coming with a thik and tight creamy off-white beer head sustaining ve...ry well; gently carbonated.
S: juicy fruits as well as creamy malts upfront, mixing together rich scented dried berry (dried dates, raisins, longan-fruits), flowery scent of hops, aromatic tea-leaves, and an assertive edge of brown sugar... all rolled in one, making a creamy, aromatic malty nose with good depth of fruitiness and hops. Good~~
T: semi-roughly textured caramely malts and roasted tea-leaves hit the palate upfront, followed by black-tea-ish hops hand in hand with a toffee-ish, nutty, and brown-sugary maltiness expanding on the palate; subtly, the bitter edge intensifies step by step, underlining a lingering aftertaste of chewy, floral hoppyness with a slightly spicy touch, due to three kinds of hops used in the brew I suppose (Challenger, Fuggles, Cascade), while the lingering dried fruity aftertaste simply refuses to budge.
M&D: softly carbonated on the palate, quite light for the full flavour; A malty+fruity Premium Bitter style beer, with a complex hop flavour and and a much lighter body than the flavour suggests, yet ever so quaffable. Now I really wonder if my previous encounter with the cask-conditioned version suffered from the "nearly off" factor, as the hop characteristic was too mild to be noticeable.

Photo of Shaw
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely amber color with a slight head that reduces to just partial foam in my glass. Some particles, no doubt from the bottle conditioning.

It smells of caramelized malt and biscuits.

The flavor is of roasted grains with a hint of mustiness and toasted flavors.

The body is light, as I would expect with a beer of this low ABV.

This is a nice toasty ale that is a great session beer. It has an abundance of flavor.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown with a reddish hue with a thinner light brown head some chunks and floaties swirling around.Light aromas of choclate malt and caramel maybe a hint of hard water or iron.A very soft malty flavored brew up front light chocolate and caramel flavors with an underlying herbal English hop flavor that comes thru more in the finish and as it warms.A thinner bodied beer but very sociable, a nice Scottish "small" beer.

Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly murky ice tea brown color with a frothy head and some lacing

Smell: Malted milk chocolate and hazelnuts; rather bready

Taste: Starts with a very clean malty base which turns a bit earthy and coarse in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Very smooth but a tad below medium bodied; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very pleasant Scottish that is marked down a bit for its mediocre finish

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Lia Fail from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
85 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.